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What Are You Drinking? Study Ranks Fla. Drinking Water 2nd Worst in U.S.

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Posted at 12:50 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 10:29:55-04

(WWSB) -- Florida’s drinking water is not as safe as you would have hoped.

A study administrated by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) tested water across the United States and ranks Florida second for having the worst drinking water.

About 19.5 million Americans get sick each year from pathogens found in contaminated public drinking water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

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Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies and regulates around 100 contaminants, such as toxic chemicals, radioactive elements, and metals, to ensure drinking water quality.

However, the data shows the immediate need for a culture change at the EPA and state regulatory bodies. Violations need to be taken seriously and when there is a public health threat it must be addressed promptly.

The top five states with SDWA violations by population in 2015 were:

  1. Texas
  2. Florida
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. New Jersey
  5. Georgia

In from 2013 to 2016, Leon County had at least one community water system in the county that received a drinking violation Check out all Florida counties here.

In terms of the overall physical environment, Leon County is ranked low at no. 62 out of 67. 

So now we ask… How do we fix this major problem? The study suggests a few solutions. 

  1. Improve water infrastructure and modernize our drinking water treatment plants.
  2. Increase funding for water infrastructure to protect health and create good jobs.
  3. Strengthen existing regulations and establish new ones.
  4. Develop a more robust testing system for drinking water contaminants.
  5. Strengthen all drinking water enforcement mechanisms.
  6. Allow citizens to act immediately in cases of imminent and substantial health threats.